Sadaqah: The Facts
'Believe in Allah and His Messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For those of you who believe and spend (in charity), for them is a great Reward.’ (Qur'an 57:7)
The days are getting longer and the nights, shorter. It's that time of the year when we want to reap the rewards of the most blessed month of the year. What better time to give charity than in the month of Ramadan when our deeds are multiplied. Below are some frequently asked questions about Sadaqah, the act of giving charity in Islam.
What is Sadaqah?
Sadaqah is the act of charity given out of compassion, love, friendship, religious duty, or generosity. It's about the smile you bring on somone's face, the harm you remove from a person's path, the food you feed to the needy, and the well you dig to quench someone's thirst.
Who can give Sadaqah?
Anyone can give Sadaqah at any time and for any amount.
How much Sadaqah should I give?
Unlike Zakat, Sadaqah has no set amount. You can give whatever you are financially able to. Abubakr (ra) used to give everything he had, leaving Allah (SWT) and his messenger (SAW) to provide for his family, whereas Umar Al Khattab (ra) gave half of what he had.
What types of Sadaqah exist?
- Sadaqah lillah: Charity for the sake of Allah
- Sadaqah Jariyah: Continuous charity
- Waqf: Assets that are donated or purchased for the purpose of being held in a trust as ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah) or for a cause that Islam regards as socially beneficial
What are the conditions of Sadaqah?
- Sadaqah must be given for pleasing Allah (SWT) and not to gain praise from others
- Sadaqah can only be given from a halal (lawful) source
- It is better to conceal what we give or do
- Do not delay giving Sadaqah
- Do not count what you give
What’s the difference between Sadaqah and Zakat?
- Given in any amount
- Given at any time
- Given to anyone in need
- Can be given on behalf of another person
- 2.5 % of annual savings
- Given annually
- Given to a specific group of people (the poor, Muslims)
- Cannot be given on behalf of anybody
What are the benefits of Sadaqah?
Sadaqah is ultimately an investment for the hereafter. With giving charity comes an immense reward, ‘And those who are patient…and spend from what We have provided for them secretly and publicly and prevent evil with good - those will have the good consequence of [this] home’ (Qur’an 13:22) and a forgiveness of sins, as the Prophet (SAW) tell us, ‘charity extinguishes sins just as water extinguishes fire’ (Tirmidhi).
‘Those who (in charity) spend of their goods by night and by day, in secret and in public, have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.' (Qur’an 2:274)